【HEX 101】 Deck Classification ~ Rush ~

Lately, I have been pretty busy with my work, and not able to play as much dTCG as I want (particularly HEX).  But that does not mean I forgot about it.  One of the reason why I feel HEX is a step above other dTCG is its support on wide variety of playing strategy i.e. different deck type support.  So let’s start taking a look at some individual deck types, definition and how HEX support them.  The concept actually applies to any dTCG, but some dTCG especially in early stage may or may not have a good support on certain deck types.  Nonetheless, if you have heard these terms but did not know the official definition, it’s a good start.  Here is an article I wrote for HexRealm.

Why do we need to know ?

Trading card games provide wide range of play style and as more and more cards are added to the game, the combination continues to increase exponentially. So the variation in the actual content of the deck may reach to infinity. However, the general play style can be categorized to limited types. This deck typing provide two potential benefits.

To allow effective way of communication.
To help your deck design.
To allow decision making for “who’s the attacker?” situation.

Archetype vs. Decktype

The main source of the confusion in deck classification comes from the fact there are various definitions exist for certain deck categories. In general, there are 3 or 4 main types that are widely accepted in most TCGs: Aggro, Control, Combo and +/- Midrange.

Although some people calls these as actual deck types, For the better organization and understanding purpose, I like the approach to user the term “Archetype” to indicate these higher level of the deck classification, and within each archetype more specific deck types. This approach had at least been confirmed by Paul Chaplin’s “Next level magic: deck building” electronic book as indeed a valid approach. He used term macroarchetype to mean “archetype”, and plain archetype to mean a deck type. In any event, this hierarchical classification of decks make the understanding much easier.

Aggro Archetype

There are several deck types falls under this category, but what makes them common to be categorized under Aggro Archetype. In another word, what is the basic theme of Aggro Archetype?

These decks play attacker/beat down player role.
The theme is to try win a game as early as possible.


Alternative names: Red Aggro, (low) beat down

Archetype: Aggro

General theme:

It is a rather common theme among the Aggro Archetype decks that you use efficient troop to attack opponent from early on, with the goal of defeating the opponent before he/she completes their board set up. However, what makes this deck as of its own deck type is the inclusion of “reach.”

For those of you have never heard the term “reach” in the TCG setting, let’s define the word here. It means basically “direct” damage capability in contrast to the indirect/combat damage by the use of troop’s attack.

Usually in the early game, troop’s attack can go through relatively easily; however, as the game progresses, there will be more blockers, and potential way of counters; therefore, your cost efficient/cheap attacking troops may no longer be able to pass through those blocker. For example, a deck may be able to inflict 19 damages in first 4-5 turns by cost efficient troops but the last 1 may be very difficult to impossible, and of course without the last hit, you cannot win the game.

Therefore, this type of deck exist where you take opponent’s champion’s life points away quickly by cost efficient troops. Once the opponent start building up blockers, you will finish them off by direct damaging cards so called “burn” cards. Because Ruby (was red in magic) is the color that specializes in the direct damaging spells, this deck type can be called Ruby Aggro/Red Aggro. As the core of the play style in this deck, and also for all other Aggro Archetype decks, is an attacker/beat down, this can also be referred to as beat down but with low cost cards; hence, low beat down.

General deck design:

The keys are low cost attacking efficient cards, and effective burn spells for reach. The resource curve in rush deck should be a paradigm type of the deck that uses “MRE” curve. As stated above, this will be similar to magic, and Rush deck type is primarily that of Ruby color. Since the goal is to win relatively quickly, multi-shard color is usually not an optimal approach in this kind of deck. Especially, given the lack of good dual shard card in the current set, Rush deck is the synonym for Ruby Aggro.

Some of the common key cards from set 1 to be used in this deck type include:

Cost efficient attackers

Burn Cards

Additional Good Cards

Personally, I like including following additional cards:

With one of my prototype rush deck, I was able to play 4-1 (win-loss). So certainly a good potential here.


Pretty much any TCG/CCG that has the main goal of taking each other’s life points away will always have Rush deck support. In the first Set, HEX already have decent support for this deck type.


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